The State Office Building in Juneau is seen on Tuesday, Jan. 16. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

The State Office Building in Juneau is seen on Tuesday, Jan. 16. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska plans to ease rules on state purchases without multiple price quotes

The state of Alaska is planning to raise the maximum size of bid-free purchases from $10,000 to $25,000. This would allow employees with state agencies to make buying decisions without seeking multiple price quotes.

In a public notice published Feb. 23, the Alaska Department of Administration said it’s planning the move in response to state agencies’ request for action “to ease the cost of administrative burden on executive branch agencies due to inflation and rising costs.”

Mindy Birk, chief of policy for the Office of Procurement and Property Management in the Department of Administration, said the idea came about during a meeting of the state’s administrative services directors.

The commissioners of state agencies may set limits for their employees below the $25,000 figure, she said. The $25,000 amount will be the new statewide maximum.

Under existing administrative code, state procurement officers need to get at least three price quotes in writing or verbally when buying “supplies, services, professional services, or construction” worth between $10,000 and $50,000. If the price is higher than that, the quotes must be in writing.

The proposed regulation change would raise the lower limit to $25,000, which would allow purchasing officers to spend up to that amount without bids.

Public comments on the change are being accepted through 4:30 p.m. March 27.

• James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. This article originally appeared online at alaskabeacon.com. Alaska Beacon, an affiliate of States Newsroom, is an independent, nonpartisan news organization focused on connecting Alaskans to their state government.

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